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Archive for May, 2007

No, This Isn’t Sam The Record Man – Anymore

May 30th, 2007
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While Stephan Dion prattles about “The hollowing out of Corporate Canada,” the retail music sector is about to get a severe stylus-holing out as Sam The Record Man is set to close the flagship Young Street store in Toronto.

This is news that truly saddens me, as Sam’s Young Street is the best CD store, with the greatest inventory that I know of except for the Virgin mega-store in Times Square.

Periodically the Lady Hespeler will decide “Lets go to Toronto and shop!” I always agree, only because I can kill and hour or two, with ease, in Sam’s. None of the other stores even come close to the selection of Sam’s, especially their classical music department. I will miss those trips downtown, but I can’t imagine what would drag me down there now.

Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin', Toronto

Prove Lightbulb Ban is Good for the Environment

May 28th, 2007

Today’s Sun has an article by Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball called Prove it! that challenges an assumption that’s become near and dear to my heart: compact fluorescent light bulbs are better for the environment than incandescent:

Prove it! That’s how we must respond whenever governments ban established products to “save the planet.” If politicians can’t validate their schemes with comprehensive and unbiased scientific studies then they should stop telling us how to live our lives.

Take the recently announced ban on incandescent light bulbs. The federal government’s “Action on Climate Change and Air Pollution” boasts the ban “will give Canadian consumers real opportunity both to save money on energy and to help clean up our environment.” Prove it!

Show us the results of comprehensive life cycle analysis that demonstrate the energy savings accrued when operating a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) more than compensates for the increased manufacturing and mercury disposal impacts associated with CFLs. Prove to us that the loss of convenience and light quality of the incandescent is off-set by a significant net environmental benefit. Or many Canadians will conclude the move was purely political, designed to look good in the press and trump the NDP who had a private members’ bill banning incandescents in the works.

And when studying this, don’t forget to take into account the impact of driving your burnt out bulbs to the landfill. The more I read up on CFB’s (compact fluorescent bulbs), the dumber the idea of banning them looks.

Instead of handing more regulatory power to the “pimply minions of bureaucracy,” any attempt to regulate Canadians lives, whether large scale or in the minutiae like CFBs, ought to require absolute proof of it’s necessity, and that the scheme will work as advertised.

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freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, Global Warming, Going... Going... Gone Nuts For The Environment, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Don’t Ban Handguns – Ban Stupid Politicians

May 28th, 2007
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David Miller is often found saying just dumb things. If he was right wing he would be eaten alive in the press, by the countries (supposed) comedians &tc. But he’s a ‘caring’ lefty, so he gets away with it.

The latest was last week, after a shooting at a Toronto High School, in which 15-year-old Jordan Manners was killed:

The incident prompted Toronto mayor David Miller to stress the need for stricter gun control. “Handguns have one purpose and that is to kill and it really reinforces what we’ve been saying for quite a while at the city… We absolutely have to get the guns off the streets. It’s going to require some changes to our laws but it has to be done.”

Agree or disagree with the sentiment at your leisure. However, it is illegal for a person under 18 to posses a firearm licence in Canada. With the various restrictions in place, that means a person under 18 cannot own a firearm, handgun or otherwise. In effect, if you are under 18 years old, handguns are banned.

Yesterday, police arrested two 17 year old youths in the murder of Jordan Manners:

Toronto police have charged a teenage boy with killing 15-year-old Jordan Manners in a North York high school and say another suspect turned himself in Sunday night.

The youths, both 17-years-old, are facing first-degree murder charges.

Investigators had obtained judicial authorization to temporarily release the name of one teenager, warning that he “should be considered armed and dangerous.”

Armed and dangerous, yet legally banned from owning a firearm in Canada. That’s what makes David Miller’s, and some other politicians, knee jerk reaction so dumb. It solves no problem, not even the principle one of getting David Miller re-elected.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy, whack-a-mole politics

Proof: Motorcycling Leads to Confusion

May 27th, 2007

Last week I was driving south along Townline Road here in Cambridge, toward the site of the new RIM Centre, home of the Waterloo Predators (Names are based on pure speculation and is not to be taken as fact; Site location, however, is based on conjecture, and may be treated as such). This section of Townline is a two lane road, yet some guy on a motor bike travelling north was passing in the centre of the road, between cars. Which brings me to one of the funniest stories of the week:

About 40 motorcyclists from across the province held a rally at Queen’s Park yesterday calling for stiffer penalties for motorists whose actions put bikers’ lives at risk.

“Bikes have a right to share the road and we need to cut down on the carnage,” said Brian Burnett, provincial vice-chairman with Bikers Rights Organization Canada. “The province set up new laws to stop street races. We want to see changes to the Highway Traffic Act regarding the usually lax charges laid in regarding tragic collisions with bikes.”

The group took part in a Fallen Riders Memorial Awareness Ride and held a ceremony for 67 bikers killed on the road since the late 1960s.

Burnett said as many as 40 bikers can be killed on Ontario roads every year.

Because I’m responsible for clown boy passing cars in the middle of the road. Or that guy last year who was driving on a 410 exit ramp at over 200 KM/ hour.

I have always been amazed that I am not allowed to drive to the grocery store at 40KM/hour, without a seat belt, but these guys can drive 100KM/hour on the highway with, as cousin Eddie would say, “nothing between the ground and my brain but a piece of government [approved] plastic.”

With that in mind, they should be careful what they ask for. When Dalton McGuinty sees that 40 bikers a year number, he will be looking to ban bikes; that’s how he solves problems. But really, should they be asking for greater protection from drivers until they have done more about the lousy bike riders on the road. They are out there, they are a legion, and anybody who drives regularly sees them everyday in the summer. It’s not all of them, certainly not, but it’s enough.

But none of that is why the story is so amusing. It’s the last line that makes it so:

The biker group also wants the province to strike down the mandatory helmet law.

Dalton, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, Funny., Humour

Weingartenisms

May 26th, 2007
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The Washington Posts Gene Weingarten had a great column, appearing in todays National Post, entitled “Much to Paris Hilton’s embarrassment…” (sorry, no link available). It covers phrases not found in google, some of which are hilarious. A googlenot (Weingarten ‘s phrase, not found on google) is what he calls them:

“Much to Paris Hilton’s embarrassment”
“Caviar ‘n’ taters”
“Next, boil the toast”
“Please accept these underpants as collateral…”
“Hey, this tastes like aardvark”
“Wearing only a codpiece and a sombrero”
and my favourite
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidociousesque”

Look for that last one to make it into my repertoire of lines, and if your at dinner with me, don’t be surprised if you hear “Hey, this tastes like aardvark.”

I found a few of my own

“fat, ugly Shania Twain”
“he rode his bike up Mt. Everest” (Surprisingly, however, “bicycle up Everest” had a hit, as in “IE6 and Javascript: Slower than me riding a bicycle up Everest.”)
“brilliant Jean Charest”
“dolphin in the headlights”
And finally
“Weingartenisms” and, in fairness “Hespelerisms” & “Gardinerisms”.

Humour, Paris

Saturday Fluffernutter: Celine Butchers AC/DC, Mick’s little D***, Rosie’s a big …

May 26th, 2007

Some have called this dangerous; some have been found to be suicidal after watching. I just laughed till I – well none of your business what happened next – but be forewarned. If you have a delicate nature, this could be dangerous for you: Celine Dion and Anastasia singing AC/DC’s You Shook Me (All Night Long)

And this is how it should sound. Interesting that AC?DC sings “knocked me out with those Canadian thighs”, and the Canadian sings “American thighs.”

From the ridiculous, to the sublime. Mick Jagger, according to director Julien Temple, wrapped a bamboo cage full of bees around his… his… um… weapon of choice, so that the bees would sting it and it would swell up, thus becoming, well… swell. Apparently the Jagger family jewel is in the one or two carat range. The thing is, if “You’re so vein” Mick Jagger, who is reputed to have bed thousands, is not satisfied with his, what chance do the rest of have to be satisfied with ours?

It’s an interesting week when suddenly Kieth Richards isn’t the weird one in the band.

John Wayne was born 100 years ago last weekend. Happy Birthday Duke. (Wonder if the Duke ever questioned his manhood?)

I love this story. Italian consumer groups are pissed at Barbara Streisand because of her ticket prices. In other words the socialists are upset that very vocal socialist Barbara is acting like a capitalist.

Kiera Knightly won a libel suit against British tabloid The Daily Mail about a story that suggested she was to blame for the death of an anorexic teenager and that she had an eating disorder.

Which is nice because it gives me a chance to post a picture of the very nice Ms. Knightly.

Rosie O’Donnell has left the building, and she’s taking a beating even from what should be sympathetic observers, like the Huffington Post:

Bullies never like it when the tables are turned, and Rosie was no different…

This fight was not about the war in Iraq (despite Joy Behar‘s best efforts) — it was 100% about Rosie’s nose being out of joint, and about her ability to dish it out but not take it…

It is ego that drove Rosie to quit three weeks before the expiration of her contract, ego that impelled her to pout in non-rhyming free verse on her blog, posting a self-pitying video and affecting a put-upon air… now she’s walking three weeks early, because she picked a fight with an easy mark — and lost? Wow. From bully to baby in 0.5 seconds… Even so, she’s a professional, or should be — and with three weeks left to go, a professional stays in the hot seat she’s been given the freedom all year to create, and sees it through…

If I could say it better myself, I would.

I was sorry to hear that Bobby Ash, better know as Uncle Bobby to kids of my generation, passed away this week in Elliot Lake, Ont. of a heart attack. He was 82. Condolences to his family and friends.

Celebrities, Cool Videos, Fluffernutter, YouTube

Cambridge, Home of the Nashville Predators?

May 24th, 2007
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Who said it first: Jim Balsillie will move his new NHL team to Cambridge?

If you guessed At Home in Hespeler, who said, way back in early October of last year,

Jim Balsillie, owner of RIM of Waterloo, is moving the Penguins to Cambridge…

This may sound crazy but… Cambridge is outside the 50 mile boundary from both Toronto and Buffalo, yet about 20 minutes from Hamilton.

give yourself ten points (sorry, no prizes. Who do you think I am, Jim Balsillie?)

Of course, if you don’t want to get your poop early, you can always read the CBC:

Waterloo? No rink. Yet. Interestingly, Research in Motion, the company for which Balsillie is the co-chief executive officer, recently bought a large parcel of land – more than 25 acres – in Cambridge. Draw your own conclusions.

It’s a funny world when my old jokes are todays news. I laughed all the way home today, as Kitchener’s News Talk 570 was running a news person from Townline Road and the 401, walking distance from my computer. I know what blog they finally got around to reading.

Oh, and of course, I still have the architects graphic for what the new Blackberry Arena will look like.

Hockey, The Media Following My Lead.

Picture of the Day – Cozy in Kingston

May 23rd, 2007
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A Rational Union Leader?

May 23rd, 2007
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The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) have elected a new leader, to replace the ever shrill Leah Casselman. Warren “Smokey” Thomas is a longtime union activist and registered practical nurse from Kingston, and he was elected in April. Regarding the union’s activism, here’s what he has to say:

“We will not practise partisan politics.”

From the North Bay Nugget

Smokey, said he will sit down with provincial leaders to get a feel for each party’s platform.

Past performance won’t be considered, he said. The primary factor will be the platform each party provides and what each would do for his union.

Holy cow! A sane and rational approach. I offer further suggestions to brother Smokey:

Don’t consult each party once, do it always.

Ignore Sid Ryan (“We absolutely oppose the Tories. We know where they took us. I would put it to Smokey that he would find out very quickly where the Tories (will go) because there was no union that suffered more (during the Harris regime) than OPSEU.”).
Really Smokey, don’t pick fights with any party, not even those big bad mean old Tories. The unions got clobbered by Mike Harris in part because they hated Mike Harris. Harris had nothing to gain playing nice with them, and they made it clear they weren’t interested in nice anyway.

Side up with whichever party you can agree with on an issue by issue basis. Support who you want in an election, but don’t burn the other bridges, and support them where appropriate.

Remember, your job is looking out for your members, not partisan politics. You have the right idea, now stick with it.

Unsolicited Political Advice

Picture of the Day – A Streetcar Retired

May 21st, 2007

Baseball and Fascism

May 21st, 2007
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Back on April 2nd, Gerry Nicholls offered what he opined to be the best five baseball movies:

  • The Natural
  • 61*
  • The Rookie
  • The Sandlot
  • For the Love of the Game

Then, for good measure, he threw in a link to Abbot and Costello’s who’s on first.

I piped in that he missed Bull Durham, and offered a couple of routines to back me up:

And talk about great comedy routines, the meeting on the mound:

Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell’s going on out here?
Crash Davis: Well, Nuke’s scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man’s here. We need a live… is it a live rooster?
[Jose nods]
Crash Davis: . We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose’s glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.
[to the players]
Crash Davis: Is that about right?
[the players nod]
Crash Davis: We’re dealing with a lot of shit.
Larry: Okay, well, uh… candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she’s registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let’s get two! Go get ’em.

This ones not bad either:

Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Larry: Lollygaggers!
Skip: Lollygaggers.

Then yesterday the Toronto Sun ran this quote in a small caption they call Say it Again:

Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring; besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some more ground balls. It’s more democratic.

Strikeouts are fascist; ground balls democratic. You would think that would be the kind of line Gerry Nicholls and myself would remember. Considering the nature of our blogs, you would think that this might have been mentioned.

Aand you would think wrong. Consider the record straightened.

A Day At The Movies, Baseball, classical liberal, Funny., Gerry Nicholls, YouTube

Go Senators Go!

May 20th, 2007
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Coming from a guy who said this last October, this post may be construed as a big deal

Normally a Leaf fan, I have all but given up on professional hockey. I can’t get an emotional attachment to any other team, I can’t cheer for team corporate Toronto any more; the game has gone lame, the refs still call the score and the NHL is sucking up to markets that don’t give a rats a**, while sticking it to those that do.

However, I was in Ottawa at the beginning of the playoffs, actually like the town, and talked to a number of nice Ottawanians who are big Sens fans. For a Leaf guy, this is like cheering on the Canadiens (won’t happen, don’t ask – there fans are too big a jerks), but I’m going to do it.

Daniel Alfredson is still a clown, but I kind of like this team anyway – hey every team has their joker – and the family I have in Ottawa would love a Stanley Cup parade to go to. Don’t ask me to stay in and watch it on TV, but I’m pulling for the Senators, and fellow Leaf fans who don’t like it can stick it in their golf carts and go putt themselves.

And you, on the Ottawa bandwagon, move over I’m jumping on.

Go Sens Go!

Hockey, Ottawa

Lost Cat

May 20th, 2007

We have lost one of our cats, the kitten in fact, who’s been featured here before. Both as picture of the day, (and again, and again) as story addition,

and as an international celebrity.

I have put up a small web page dedicated to finding him. If you are in the Hespeler area, please take a peek, just in case you have seen him.

cats

Population Reduction Through Ethanol

May 17th, 2007

“More than 3 billion people in the world are being condemned to a premature death from hunger and thirst,” Fidel Castro

It is nearly axiomatic that anything Cuban “President” Fidel Castro says will be false, incorrect, misleading, and downright pernicious… recently, el Presidente‘s grumblings have been worth hearing, not because they are precisely right, but because they are at least on the right track…

interference by politicians in the market for fuel (added to the massive existing interference) has real-world impact, and Fidel Castro, of all people, understands…

The article is called Ethanol Versus the Poor, and it’s worth reading.

Food for thought, from the Green Party of Canada website (emphasis mine: put them together to form one sentence):

We believe that to achieve sustainability, and in order to provide for the needs of present and future generations within the finite resources of the earth, continuing growth in global consumption, population and material inequity must be halted and reversed.

Economic Fundamentalism, Global Warming, Going... Going... Gone Nuts For The Environment, pimply minions of bureaucracy

Picture of the Day – Trillium in Bloom

May 17th, 2007
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